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Old 04-10-2006, 07:45 PM   #1
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sunlight channeled to aquarium idea..

Had this idea; could you put a sunlight collector/solar panel type thing on your roof, and then use fiber optic like stuff to channel the sunlight down through your roof to your aquarium thus using sunlight to light your aquarium. Felt dumb for posting this but i'm sure someone's thought of it before. Anyone know if that would work or not?
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Old 04-10-2006, 08:19 PM   #2
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First problem is that it would probably be more expensive than just buying lights.

Second, it would be the wrong spectrum of light. Most of what we keep would be deeper than 12 inches in nature. Deeper water gets more blue spectrum, so to compensate for our lack of depth, we use more blue lighting to simulate deep water.

Third, I didn't think you got any sunlight in Nebraska.
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Old 04-10-2006, 08:35 PM   #3
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Third, I didn't think you got any sunlight in Nebraska.
That's sucks. 8O
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Old 04-10-2006, 10:10 PM   #4
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Actually, it's been done. Not so elaborate as fiber optic and all, but by using a solar chimney. The results were astounding. Look at your LFS or on Amazon for a book called Ultimate Marine Aquariums, by Michael S. Paletta. There are I think a couple aquariums in there lit only by solar chimneys. A solar chimney/tunnel/whatever is a skylight on top of a column rigged with mirrors to redirect and magnify the light down the column and into the aquarium. One of the tanks was from a midwestern state, and it did just fine, albeit I think it was mostly softies and LPS. I don't know if this approach would work for SPS but it certainly does wonders with the softies. And the book is worthy of coffee tables anyways, so you can't lose by checking it out!
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Old 04-10-2006, 11:23 PM   #5
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Check out the TOTM...

http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/20...totm/index.php

Look close and you will read and see they augment their light with..You guessed it,natures own natural sunlight. Alot of folks complain that NSL causes algae. Truth is, just as with man made light, if tank conditions are condusive to growing algae, its gonna grow. This is a 1532 gallon tank and looks like its doing great IMHO.

As a note when working with fiber optics, there are some choices to made that can affect the 'reflectivity' of the light you are planning on carrying. Remember that FO cable is designed to carry high wavelengths (Laser related) and not really 'full visible and non visible' spectrums. I am not a fibre guru, but I have been in IT long enough to know that this probably is not the best application. At least not the type of fibre we use in computing. However, as demonstrated in the link, if you plan on integrating NSL then consider wiser tank placement. You may also consider a less elaborate arrangement of mirrors to send light from where you want it to where you need it. Just some thoughts...

Peace.

EDIT: Note to Admins..IMHO has been geek for "In My Humble Opinion" since the dawn of man!
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:25 AM   #6
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Well I stand corrected. Certainly looks like that tank is doing quite well with natural sunlight (although it is only augmented with it). Seems odd to me then that so often you hear "don't put your tank where the sun is shining thru a window".
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:28 PM   #7
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First problem is that it would probably be more expensive than just buying lights.

Second, it would be the wrong spectrum of light. Most of what we keep would be deeper than 12 inches in nature. Deeper water gets more blue spectrum, so to compensate for our lack of depth, we use more blue lighting to simulate deep water.

Third, I didn't think you got any sunlight in Nebraska.
we get lots of sunlight in good old nebraska I'm thinking of upgrading to MH, which led me to think about this question. If i were to experiement with NSL, i'd probably have to supplement with artificial light anyways. Thanks for all the advice everyone.

This was an effort by me to think 'outside the box' for once. I think i rely too much on expert opinion and never allow my own creativity/critical thinking to occur with what i'm doing with my reef.

Anyways, the fact remains that all the reefs in the world thrive on natural sun light, and i think it would be awesome to use NSL...one, because after initial costs, you'd begin to save lots on energy costs. And two, because once you fine tunned the delivery and spectrum of the sunlight, you might have something very special. :shrug: ok, i'm done
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Old 04-11-2006, 03:32 PM   #8
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Sound’s like a good idea but a lot of work. Should recoup the costs from the power savings. You probably could build your own solar tube. Still I’d supplement additional lighting to be safe.
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:05 PM   #9
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The only limitation I see is that, for those of us with day jobs, by the time you get home, it would be dusk or dark. Reef would be closed for business : (
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